Combining probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG supplements with aloe vera may slash cholesterol levels by over 40%, suggests a new study with lab rats.
The combination was also associated with similar significant reductions in triacylglycerol levels, and a 12% increase in HDL cholesterol levels, according to findings published in Nutrition .
“An optimized blend of the probiotic LGG and aloe vera gel could be exploited as a potential biotherapeutic remedy to decrease cholesterol levels and lower the risk of CVD, although the field is open for further studies,” wrote researchers led by Manoj Kumar, PhD, from India’s National Institute of Nutrition.
High cholesterol levels, hypercholesterolemia, have a long association with many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), the cause of almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe and the US.
A recent report from the American Heart Association predicted a tripling of direct medical costs of cardiovascular disease from $272.5 billion to $818.1 billion between 2010 and 2030 (Circulation, March 2011, Vol. 123, pp. 933-944).
The Indian researchers divided lab rats into four groups: The first group acted as the control and was fed a normal diet; the other three groups were fed a hypercholesterolemic diet with supplemental LGG, Aloe vera gel, or a combination of both for 45 days.
Results showed that LGG consumption alone was associated with a 32% reduction in total cholesterol levels, and this increased to 43% when administered in combination with Aloe vera.
In addition to the improvements in triacylglycerol and HDL levels, the LGG-Aloe vera combination was also associated with reductions in very low-density (VLDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) of 45% and 30%, respectively.
“There has been a surge of interest in using phytometabolites for nutritional and health applications,” wrote the researchers.
“The present study showed that probiotic-fermented milk alone or in combination with AV gel had a positive effect on the lipid profile in experimental animals, although the mechanisms involved warrant further investigations.”
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.09.006
“Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Aloe vera gel improve lipid profiles in hypercholesterolemic rats”
Authors: M. Kumar, S. Rakesh, R. Nagpal, et al.